Most young people today don’t consider it an honour to be known as Christians. Their brand identity – the logo of the Cross- is carefully concealed under a cloak of indifference, for fear of being negatively evaluated. To be religious is to be out of sync with the modern world. The goals of upward mobility consume enormous amounts of time, energy and resources, leaving no time for God. Critics of the organized church decry the unpopular stands taken by Christianity, on many social issues. This adds to the confusion in young minds.
Of all the reasons for disinterest of young people in religion, failure of godly parenting is the foremost. It leaves many youngsters emotionally destitute. There may be no religious foundation in the form of Bible reading, family prayers or even knowledge about God. Christian parents are expected to inculcate moral values. They must be mentors, role models and character builders. Godly standards are paramount.
Failure of religious leadership is another reason. While church leaders are deeply and sincerely involved in worship and church activities, how much care and concern is directed towards young lives? Are there adequate avenues for individual or group counseling? Or serious study of the Bible i.e, how to read, reflect, memorize, respond and pray? A Christian writer once said, “The greatest service a Christian can do for his country is to become actively concerned about the destiny of the church.” Its future lies in the hands of the younger generation.
Materialism has made young people worship possessions rather than God. Hedonism or belief in pleasure as Man’s proper aim is another factor.
Proverbs 21:17 says “He who loves pleasure will become poor.”
Overexposure to Internet and visual media, availability of violent videos or pornography, sex saturated TV progammes are time guzzlers, leaving no time for thoughts of God. Addiction to alcohol or drugs warps one’s ability to live clean lives.
Young people should realize that Christianity is not a drag. God’s standard for living is
- An attitude of humility and thankfulness. (Eph 4:23,24.
- Courage to stand up for one’s faith. (Hebrews 13:15)
- Purity – submitting to the re-programming by the Holy Spirit (Ps 24: 3-5)
- Life style depicting one’s life in Christ which is distinctly unlike the rest of the world. (Micah 6:8)
Charles Swindol says, “It requires dedication every day. Each new day is a challenge and an opportunity to grow in relationship with God.”